A Vibrant Area

28 April 2016, by Sophie Chick

Fulham has cemented its reputation as one of the most sought-after locations in London

 

Situated immediately north of the Thames, between Chelsea and Putney, Fulham has a very mature prime housing market which is popular with buyers and renters, both young professionals and families.

The area enjoys a reputation as a better value alternative to Chelsea, just a bus or Tube stop further from Central London and has seen significant long term price growth, outperforming many neighbouring locations.

The average value across the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has increased by 602% over the last 20 years, according to the Land Registry. Similarly in the prime markets of Fulham, average prices have increased by 42% and 112% over the last 5 and 10 years respectively.

However, activity has slowed recently due to increased stamp duty and uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum. Over the year to March 2016, properties worth over £2m have seen falls of -5.2% while growth has continued in the lower value prime markets, albeit at a slower rate of 0.9%.

Similarly, transactions numbers have slowed across SW6, falling from 114 in 2013 to 97 in the 12 months to January 2016 for properties over £2m and from 1,257 to 864 for properties under £2m according to the Land Registry. The constricted turnover in Central London has, in turn, reduced the usual flow of money to Fulham.

While these conditions mean the market is currently price sensitive, we do expect growth to continue in the medium to long term on account of all the factors that entice people to live in Fulham.

The neighbourhood

The housing stock consists of numerous tree-lined Victorian and Edwardian terraced streets. Particularly popular are the ‘Lion’ houses, which are large red-bricked terraces characterised by lions on their gables located around Parsons Green, and the houses in the colloquially named ‘Alphabet Streets’ near Bishops Park.

Fulham owners tend to be long-term residents who prefer to extend and develop their homes rather than re-locate. Many of Fulham’s properties are therefore much larger than their Chelsea neighbours, offering a higher ratio of houses to flats, and thus attracting growing families.

Its vibrant array of bars, restaurants and shops also draws high-earning young professionals to the area, driving demand in the rental market and new developments along the riverside.

 

 
Fulham has multiple green spaces

▲ Fulham has multiple green spaces

Property prices

The average sale price for property in Fulham in 2015 was £1.1m, according to the Land Registry. This is 20% higher than the borough average of £930k for Hammersmith and Fulham, and more than double the average of £546k for Greater London. However, the average price per square foot for prime second hand property in the Fulham area is £1,000, substantially cheaper than the average for neighbouring Chelsea of £1,800.

The main residential pockets of Fulham are centred around its multiple green spaces. Unsurprisingly, properties around these parks tend to command a premium. The most expensive areas of Fulham in 2015 were Parsons Green, South Park and Hurlingham which saw average prices of £1.56m, £1.38m and £1.36m respectively.

FIGURE 1

The housing market around Fulham

A look at where the sales happened and at what value

 
Figure 1

Source: Savills Research using Land Registry

The rental market

The rental market, similar to the sales market, is particularly high value in Fulham. The median monthly rent is £2,200, according to Rightmove data. This is slightly higher than the £2,100 median seen in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and over 40% higher than the median for London of £1,600.

Prices vary according to the property type and size. Rents range from an average of £1,600pcm for a one bedroom property, and up to £7,000pcm for a 5 bedroom property. However, at an annual average of £29 per sq ft for prime property it is still significantly cheaper than Chelsea’s £53 per sq ft.

The condition of the property also impacts the rental value achieved. Renters in Fulham will on average pay 35% more for a property classed as ‘immaculate’ as opposed to ‘poor’.

Demand

In the prime Fulham market, 28% of buyers and 39% of renters moved from within Hammersmith and Fulham borough between 2014-2016. However, it is also popular with residents moving from Central London for the extra space and sense of community. During the same period, 26% of buyers and 18% of renters moved from the Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster boroughs.

British residents remain the largest group moving into prime property in Fulham, with Western Europeans the second most prominent nationality, accounting for around a fifth of buyers and 26% of renters from 2014-2016.

Fulham has an increasingly established French community, with the proportion of French nationals within the Hammersmith and Fulham borough almost doubling between the 2001 and 2011 censuses.

The area benefits from a good number of French bars and restaurants, as well as high-performing French schools, such as L’Ecole des Petits and Marie d’Orliac, which offer bilingual education.

Schools play an important role in driving demand in Fulham with over 40% of prime buyers and renters having one or more children. There are over 20 state primary and secondary schools within SW6, with 28 more independent primary and secondary schools within the Hammersmith and Fulham borough.

As such, demand for property within the catchment areas of well-performing schools, such as Lady Margaret in Parsons Green, is high and the large properties of Fulham are increasingly attracting growing families.

FIGURE 2

Hammersmith & Fulham market dynamics

 
Figure 2

Source: Savills Research using Land Registry

FIGURE 3

What would the same property sell or rent for on our featured roads?

 
Figure 3

*per week

Source: Savills Research

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